Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Batwoman Rebirth #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Up to Speed

 Written By: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Art By: Steve Epting, Jeromy Cox
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: February 15, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Everyone has those character that they will always follow because they are what makes comics so great in their opinion. Now a lot of these character are the big name heroes that we see all the time. For me, it always came down to three character. These characters were Deadpool, Constantine, and BATWOMAN! I’m a huge fan of Batwoman and I haven’t stopped talking about her book since the New 52. Unfortunately, the book suffered from controversy and eventually came to an end before the DCYOU. Luckily, fans of the character were able to see her take a leading role once again in Detective Comics and now, finally we have a Batwoman comic once again. I’ve been patiently waiting and now I can finally jump right in once more.

Our issue begins with the question, “Where are you going Kate Kane?” and we get to see many different scenes from the life of Batwoman. We begin at the age of twelve in the city of Brussels. Kate and her twin sister Beth have gotten into the car with their mother before the car is struck and the three are captured. Kate finds it hard to breath with the hood over her face but she can hear the scene around her. Her mother is screaming and then gunshots ring out. Kate has the hood taken off her head and she sees not only her kidnappers dead on the floor, but her mother and sister have also been killed in the process.

In the next scene, we find Kate at the age of twenty. She is enrolled at West Point and is sparring with another woman. The other woman and her flirt as they spar, unknown to them that there are other members in the area who have been listening in on their conversation. We then switch between two different scenes. One scene is from the same year in which accusations have come out against Kate Kane in the army. Rather than lie about who she is, she admits that she is gay. The second scene is from when Kate is twenty-two and is during her “party girl” phase. For those who are familiar with the character, we know that this is when Kate is experiencing a downward spiral, resulting from her dishonorable discharge from the army.

The next scene we see Kate wake up at the age of twenty-three. She hears a noise at night, grabs her gun and explores the lavish home on the Island of Coryana. She turns the corner and the gun is knocked out of her hand by a woman that we learn is Kate current significant other. The woman’s name is Safiyah and the two flirt for a moment before heading back to bed. A mysterious figure lurks in the shadows though. We then cut to Kate returning to Gotham, also at the age of twenty-three. While there she reconnects with Renee Montoya. We cut once again to the scene when Kate is saved by Batman at the age of twenty-four. This causes Kate to train harder than she ever has before and hone her skills to an all new level.

With the help of her father, Jacob Kane she is able to become Batwoman. During this scene we see scenes from Elegy in which Kate discovers her sister Beth is not dead but rather a supervillain, scenes from her team-up with Wonder Woman, and the scene from her relationship with Maggie Sawyer when she proposes to her. Finally we see her leading the team from Detective Comics. We are now in the current day and we see Kate meeting with Batman in the aftermath of the Night of the Monster Men. Turns out Monster Venom has reached the black market and is traveling outside of Gotham. This is when Batman asks the question once again. “Do you know where you’re going?” We then get a scene of the future in which Kate would appear to be leading The Colony as the reach Gotham and telling them to open fire. We finally get a couple scene from the upcoming series and this issue finally comes to an end.

So… I’m not really sure who this book is for. The book partly feels like it is for regular fans of the character as many of the scenes shown in this issue leave out crucial information that gives them proper context. You would only know those things if you had previously read Batwoman’s comics. Then again, if it is for regular fans, why is it recapping all the things we already know? The issue jumps from plot point to plot point so fast that new readers would get very little out of such a recap. There are a couple scenes that seem to set up the story that we are going to get in the future but it doesn’t seem to be much of a focus. Honestly, in my recap of this issue above, I felt the need to add information that I know because the issue doesn’t give it enough to the reader. I like the creative team for this book and I’m a big fan of the art in most of this book but this issue is a head scratcher. I feel like the Rebirth one-shots should either give context for a character few are familiar with, or simply set up a story going forward. This issue does the bare minimum on both of those fronts. Here’s hoping the actually story is better than this issue

Bits and Pieces:

If you aren’t familiar with Batwoman as a character, this issue will do very little to help you. If you are familiar with Batwoman, this issue will seem like a very basic recap of her past with a few scenes of the future sprinkled in. At least the art in this book is good. I’m still looking forward to this series and I have a feeling that once the first story arc gets underway, we are going to see a much better comic in general. Unfortunately, this is a bad first step for this new comic.



  1. So it's an origin story? Hasn't Batwoman had this same origin story told several times already?

    1. Pretty much, a lot of it was repeating the exact same story from the previous series with a few extra pages about this new island location that will be part of the upcoming arc then a couple of pages tacked on to the end look forward to events in the future.

  2. I don't know if they're retconning stuff but, if they aren't, they got some stuff wrong. For example, Kate wasn't Batwoman at age 27. She was 32 at the end of Elegy. Which means she was 28 when her father confronted her about her vigilante activities. Which means she was 30 when she got back from her two years of training abroad and Jacob presented her with her first Batwoman uniform.

  3. It's a Rebirth issue all it's meant to do is get you acquainted with the character I felt like it did that this was a really low score especially when you consider Steve Epting a great art this score is way too low.

    1. i thought the art was good, not great and had the benefit of having really big splash pages throughout. It got you acquainted with the character and failed to even mention Maggie Sawyer by name and instead show more of Renee Montoya! Maggie was the most important person in Kate's life and she is not even mentioned?!?!?!?

    2. I personally found it to be far too vague. There are several moments in the comic that feel like a "fill in the blank" and as a huge Batwoman fan, I didn't think it did her justice. I do like the art and that's honestly what kept it at this score for me. The failure to fully explain Maggie or even Red Alice, for that matter, fails to introduce this character and bring new readers up to speed in my opinion. The very thing this comic is supposed to be doing isn't done, which is why I gave it such a low score. That said, I'm glad you liked this issue because hopefully that will mean we will have a Batwoman book far into the future. I am hoping that once we get into the first story arc, we will see a massive jump in quality. :)